Blue Devils go yard in ICC showdown


Manning Photography

Sawyer Kline touches home plate yesterday after blasting a three-run home run to help B-A knock off unbeaten Juniata Valley.

Ethan McGee, Sports Editor

The Blue Devil baseball team, sitting at 4-4 on the year, was looking for some big momentum to help make a play-off push late in the regular season yesterday when it traveled to Alexandria to face undefeated Juniata Valley.

The Blue Devils took big strides in the right direction, as they captured a 10-4 victory over the Hornets.

They’ve been so elusive over the last couple of years. It definitely was the sweetest feeling I’ve ever had in a post-game huddle with the team.

— Sawyer Kline

Senior Sawyer Kline played a big role, pitching 6 2/3 innings and turning in a huge performance at the plate, going 2-for-4 with three RBI and a home run.

“Having Sawyer back from injury and hitting is huge for the lineup. He provides power and experience to the middle of the order,” said Coach Steve Conlon.

Kline said defeating Juniata Valley felt good because the Devils had been snake-bitten by the Hornets in recent seasons.

“They’ve been so elusive over the last couple of years,” he said. “It definitely was the sweetest feeling I’ve ever had in a post-game huddle with the team. I feel the win is the spark we need to jump-start us.”

B-A came out swinging as Joe Padula smacked a three-run homerun in the first inning. In the fourth inning, after Valley had made it 4-4, Sawyer Kline stepped up to belt a three-run home run himself .

Padula and Brendan Kowalski each put up two runs for B-A along with 3 more RBI from Padula; 1 RBI from Kowalski.

Sawyer Kline took the win on the hump, striking out five batters.

“I had trouble feeling the mound, so I just tried to let the ball go in play and trust my defense,” said Kline. “It felt great getting a couple hits since I haven’t been able to hit much due to injury. The big hits gave me more confidence on the mound.”

Coach Conlon said it was the team’s biggest win this season.

“Joey hitting the homerun in the first inning was huge to get us out on top,” said Coach Conlon.  “The atmosphere was great. It felt like a playoff game and our kids rose to the challenge. It was by far the best we played this season.”